Non-penetrative plastic bullets are likely to be used in Jammu and Kashmir for crowd control or stone-pelting to reduce collateral damage during counter-insurgency operations, official sources said here on Tuesday. However, the pellet guns will continue to be used as the last resort in the “non-lethal category.” Thousands of plastic bullets were produced and sent to the Kashmir Valley for use by the law enforcement agencies, official sources said.
The plastic bullets are non-penetrative and can be fired from INSAS rifles, the sources said.
So far, security forces are using PAVA shells and pellet guns. PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide) is a chilli-based ammunition, which is less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily.
Other less-lethal weapons used include dye marker grenade with irritant which causes sensory trouble to the target once fired. It leaves a dye mark on the troublemakers for easy identification. An new entrant to the arsenal of non-lethal weapons is a grenade packed with scientifically prepared spicy jelly, which on exploding, causes irritation in the eyes.
Oloeoresin, a semi-solid extract in a solution, mixed with spicy gel, could be put in the grenade casings to tackle rioting mobs, sources said. Calling the damage caused by pellet guns an issue of “life and death”, the Supreme Court had last month told the government to come up with suggestions regarding effective alternatives.